Desert oasis | Waiting With God | A Look At The Israelites Complaining In The Wilderness

Waiting With God | A Look At The Israelites Complaining In The Wilderness

A wonderful example of why we need to be waiting with God is the Israelite’s grumbling against God in the wilderness. There is so much to glean from the Israelites exodus story, and the importance of waiting with God is just one of the many lessons we can find in the story.

Desert oasis with palm trees | Waiting With God | A Look At The Israelites Complaining In The Wilderness

This post may contain affiliate links, read our privacy policy for more information.

Waiting With God: A Lesson From The Israelites

Waiting with God is an important lesson we must learn as Christians, it’s not an easy lesson. In fact, waiting on God is a lifelong journey for us. Each day choosing to surrender our plans to make room for His plans.

What Does Waiting With God Mean?

Waiting with God, or waiting on God means that you are trusting God with the outcome of the situation. Trusting God to lead the way and direct your steps. It means that you are believing that God has a plan for your life that is far better than we could ever imagine and that He will provide everything that we need.

Why Waiting With God Is Important

Waiting with God helps us to focus on the purpose and direction for our lives according to God’s will. It keeps us from running ahead without seeking His will and doing things our own way. Waiting with God is important because it trains you to lean on God and trust Him for your every need.

What Does God Say About Waiting?

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25

God’s heart on waiting is pretty clear, as Christians, we should be waiting with God. God has a plan and a purpose for your life, waiting with God opens the door for that plan so that we can step into the role He has designed for us. Waiting on God isn’t easy, it’s a lesson we must learn every day of our life.

What Does God Do While We Are Waiting?

While we’re waiting with God, God strengthens our relationship with Him. It’s a season of going deep and letting God work on pieces of your life that need to be refined and allowing Him to take us deeper.

What The Israelites Can Teach Us About Waiting With God

It’s hard to recognize the importance of something in the midst of the season we’re walking through. It’s easy to forget why we are waiting with God instead of forging ahead. It’s hard to see the reason we had to journey through some of the places we’ve been to. Sometimes we find ourselves like the Israelites, wandering around the desert and the promised land seems so far away.  Day after grueling day they trekked on for forty years before they came to the place they had been promised.

The Bible says that the people started to grumble, they started to doubt, they wanted to go back to what was familiar because at least they knew what to expect, their basic needs were met back there. They’d been walking around following a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud (Exodus 13:21) but now they were hungry and the excitement is wearing off so they begin to complain (Exodus 16), but if we back up a chapter the complaining started three days into this desert excursion.

The Israelite’s Forgot What God Had Already Done For Them

They were running low on water and so when they came to a spring called Marah (which means bitter) and they found that they couldn’t drink they started to grumble. Literally, at the beginning of the chapter, they are singing about how great God was (Exodus 15:1-21), they had watched the Red Sea part so they could walk through on the dry ground, they still had saltwater clinging to them, and yet here they are grumbling. They are no longer waiting with God but focusing on the situation around them.

In the following verses, Moses cries out to God, and God makes the water drinkable and then He leads them to an oasis with seven springs. So often we get caught up in what we need right now, we start to doubt that He will provide, we forget the miracles we’ve seen on the way to this place. We lose sight of the dry ground that we just walked through while God held back the waves instead we see the endless sand and the sun beating down, we see the water we’ve brought with us getting low and we start to wonder if God will see us through this time.

God Is Still In The Restoring Buisness

It’s not so much if God can bring life to the bitter water, but if He will bring life to the bitter places in our own lives. If He’ll fix what is broken in us. It’s not if He can pull back the water so that we walk through on dry ground -because for some reason that feels easy- but will He sustain me when the water runs dry and the destination seems so far away and I don’t understand why I’m walking this road. Will He be there when I’m waiting on God, or will I be alone? Is He still going to be there when I get to the other side and I don’t recognize Him anymore? It’s not can He bring something good from this season, but will He?

He was still the same God that parted the water back there, the same God that brought them out of slavery, that changed Pharaoh’s heart,  He didn’t change- but the people’s perspective had. They forgot why they needed to be waiting with God because they forgot who God had revealed himself to be.

Waiting On God Sometimes Means Entering A Dry Season

Sometimes we’ve got to walk through the desert so that we learn to walk in step with God, like the Israelites. They didn’t move until God moved, wherever the pillar of cloud or fire stopped is where they stopped, and when it went on they went on. Waiting with God and when He led they moved.

When we’re in the moment it’s hard to recognize the lesson, all we see is trillions of grains of sand and the endless sun beating down and we feel the hunger pains begin to grow- but the place we’ve been promised seems so far away and we start to wonder, will anything good come out of this season? Can anything good come out of my failing marriage, my prodigal child, my mistakes? Can anything good come from the pain and discomfort I’m feeling? Can anything good come out of my disappointment?

We grow frustrated with our speed, we want to get where we’re going, and we want to get there now- but we don’t realize that the reason we’re walking through the desert is that He knows we’re not ready for what’s on the other side. We’re not strong enough yet to face to face those battles- there are some lessons we need to learn back here so that we don’t falter up there. There are some things He needs to deal with in us before we can move on, so we need to be waiting with God.


Sometimes Waiting With God Is Where We Have To Do Battle With Who We Were

Maybe the reason we are still wandering in the desert waiting with God is that He’s trying to break that self-reliant streak that raises its head when we don’t like the pace or the terrain we’re traveling through. We need to learn back here what will only make sense up there. We have to rely on Him so that the battle comes, and all we see is the enemy so that when we are in the midst of the storm we remember that He will make a way where there is no way. He will see us through. We may fail, our arms may grow weary our feet may stumble- but He never will and when we can’t fight the battle when the winds and the waves are too strong for us He fights for us.

But the lesson starts in the dry season, compounded by mile after mile of waiting. When I was a kid I was a horrible traveler, five minutes into the drive I was like “Are we there yet? How about now?” and my parents had to remind me to sit back and trust that they knew where they were going. God knows where we are going, this may feel like it is new to us, but this ancient history to Him. The way to our destination is rarely easy but it is our training ground, it’s in this holding pattern of waiting and following and maybe not understanding that we grow, that we learn some things that we’re going to need when He brings us to the place He has promised. The journey is preparing you for what He has already prepared for you.

Waiting On The Lord Scripture

Let’s look at some Bible verses on waiting with God to get a look at what the Bible has to say:

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Psalm 37:7

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6

But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Isaiah 30:18

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 33:20

O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. Isaiah 33:2

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; Psalm 130:5

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5 

Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. James 5:7

Before you go, check these out!

About The Author

13 thoughts on “Waiting With God | A Look At The Israelites Complaining In The Wilderness”

  1. I like the valuable info you provide for your articles. I'll bookmark your blog and
    test again here frequently. I am relatively certain I'll be informed lots of new stuff
    right here! Best of luck for the following!

  2. This is very encouraging. I've had some delayed expectations in my life. Sometimes, I feel frustrated because I seem to be marking time. But I remind myself that God always comes through for me and I need to be focusing on what I have the grace to do at the moment and derive joy in it. Your post has expanded on and reinforced that perspective for me.

  3. Wow! This is just what I needed to read today. You have no idea how this ministered to my questioning heart. I am so thankful you reached out to connect through LinkedIn! I will be following your blog now. Many blessings to the three of you!

  4. I love this. My favorite line in this entire thing was, “It's not can He bring something good from this season, but will He?” That’s always my biggest fear especially after heartbreaking disappointment. Faith is so necessary. Remembering what He has done before. Love this!

  5. Cheyenne, Perfect timing for me. I am waiting ( somewhat patiently, I hOpe) for whatever God has next for me. I am trying hard not to fill the time my self, but to wait for Him. Thank you for a word in season, precious daughter of the King!

  6. Yes! Some seasons are so frustrating, so it's good to be reminded again . . . and again and again that something good may just come out of this! You've got some beautifully-framed quotes, too! 😉

  7. It's amazing how we come off of our deepest encounters with God and end up floundering. Just like Israel after the Red Sea. Or any of the other miraculous things God did in the wilderness. We are no different! Often after the biggest moments, we are the weakest because we have an expectation of things going well after a spiritual breakthrough. But God is constantly using circumstances to grow us, and we are to expect trouble. Our perspectives, challenges, and circumstances may change, but our God never does!

  8. I'm in a season of waiting right now, and I'm trying SO hard to cry to God and ask Him for deliverance instead of scurrying around trying to make things happen on my end like I normally do. Some things ONLY GOD can provide, like my current situation! Thanks for your inspiring post. I loved your line: "Sometimes we've got to walk through the desert so that we learn to walk in step with God."

  9. This really is the hardest part of the wilderness, wondering if anything good will come out of it! But like you said, “God is preparing you for what He has already prepared for you!”

  10. Great web site you've got here.. It?s hard to find good quality
    writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top